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Old 07-26-2009, 09:08 AM   #21
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In a thread I started about family living in town, I think I bragged about how close we were with many siblings from both sides living in the same metropolitan area.

Well, one of my brothers turned into a ranting raving liberal, and yes, even long after the election outcome, he would not stop cursing and blaming Bush and the Republicans for every problem this country faces. Good grief!

Though I considered myself a centrist and should not care, I couldn't stand it, and had to walk away (there are very few politicians that I hate - I simply do not love any of them, none, zero). After two such recent family get-togethers, which I used to enjoy, I told my wife that I started to think otherwise. It is sad, and I really do not want to feel that way.

PS. A Libertarian friend of mine has the same problem with his siblings, whom he calls ultra-liberals. In family gatherings, they attacked the other side, and with him being a non-Democrat, he said somehow he ended up single-handedly defending Bush. After a few heated "discussions" with fist pounding on the dinner table and yelling and red faces, I asked how they still invited him. He said he didn't know. I think they needed another side in order to have a debate, and lured him into it. I told my wife it was the same with my brother, and I must resist...
Read "I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican" by Harry Stein. He describes it as "a survival guide for conservatives marooned among the angry, smug, and terminally self-righteous."

It is soooooo funny! And you don't have to be a Republican or uber-conservative to enjoy it. Anyone, other than an Ultra-Lib, who has been exposed to situations such as you describe will crack a rib laughing. (Or crying........... )
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:34 AM   #22
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We are 6 brothers and 3 sisters. We get along fine. We see each other at least twice a year. Two years ago, one sister-in-law -considered by all a weirdo- falsely accused my wife of something completely absurd and started to openly not speaking to her. My wife, who truly is a very nice person, tried to apologise, just in case she might have been at fault. No use. The werdo wouldnīt accept the apologies.
Obviously her husband took her side. Thank God the rest of the family are on our side, or at least neutral.
We must be right, because that couple, who used to visit all of us daily at the summer family home -my parentsīs- (and everybody avoided them!) stopped doing that. Well, my brother, furtively, comes once a week to see my 81 year old mother-who, too, canīstand the daughter-in-law!
In the beginning I pitied my brother for having to put up with her wife. With time I am starting to resent his not being able to privately admit to my wife that everything that happened was his wifeīs fault. Even though he did admit as much to me in private.
Now one of my sisters is getting married on August, 1st. Letīs see whatīs going to happen at the wedding. For starters, nobody wanted to sit with them at the reception.
Luckily for all of us, it turned out my brother -being the godfather- is sitting with his wife at the main table alongside the newlyweds and their parents!
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:54 AM   #23
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I like weird...it keeps me on my toes. If we were all the same.... for me, life would be boring.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:15 PM   #24
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youbet, thanks for the book tip. It sounds interesting.


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I like weird...it keeps me on my toes. If we were all the same.... for me, life would be boring.
You keep us on our toes...




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Old 07-26-2009, 12:31 PM   #25
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I am the last living Democrat in the old family tree - I take great joy in razzing the piss out my Sister and reminding her she deserted the Pat's(a good football team) cause she thought Bret Farve was cute and that her last career military kid crossed party lines and voted for Obama.

Yep - talk to my Sister at least once a week and keep up with niece and nephews in case I want to visit(being a cheap bastard). Unfortunately the rotations are going wrong - nobody's finagled Hawaii yet.

heh heh heh - Greater Seattle, San Diego, DC so visits are every year or so.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:44 PM   #26
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My younger brother was estranged from the rest of the family for about 15 years. When he called me and wanted to get back in touch I was quite suspicious. We met and cautiously started to get to know each other again. I learned a lot about him that I didn't know, and also confirmed what I had suspected had led to the family estrangement. He didn't ask for anything except just to keep in touch, he was also estranged from his ex-wife and 3 kids and just needed to know he still had some family. I even included our sister in one of our get-togethers, which was nice because the 3 of us had not been together in a long, long time. I was smart enough to bring a camera and ask the waitress to take a few pictures of the 3 of us.

He and I kept in touch by phone, he'd call every couple of months and I'd make time to talk to him. He was so glad to just be back in contact. I wouldn't say we got close, but I did have my brother back in my life, even if it was just on the outskirts.

Then he died of a drug overdose at age 45, pretty much confirming why he was estranged from so many people. My parents were sad at losing their son, who they hadn't spoken to for many years, but his death pretty much confirmed why they were justified in cutting him out of their (and our) lives. They saw him as toxic and kept him at a distance.

Yeah, it was all weird for many years, slightly less weird after he died. When he was cut off from the family his history with us was also pretty much erased. He just wasn't mentioned, wasn't included in the collective memory.

My DH's family is wonderful. He's the oldest of 5 siblings and we all live in different states but everyone keeps in touch and we all like each other, including spouses. I have THE BEST MIL. She turned 80 this year and for her birthday she wanted to take all of us on a vacation. She flew us all (16 total) to a resort hotel on the beach in FL. We stayed for a week and had a wonderful time. It was so nice to see all 5 siblings together and have all the cousins get to know each other again. We all know not to discuss politics and religion and it's not the type of family that picks a fight over old gripes. Everyone just gets along and enjoys being together.
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Old 07-26-2009, 01:21 PM   #27
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You keep us on our toes...




Thank you darlin'...there are times when I might raise a ruckus or two.

Just hang on.............................
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Old 07-26-2009, 01:35 PM   #28
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I like weird...it keeps me on my toes. If we were all the same.... for me, life would be boring.
I donīt think you would find my SIL very funny. Unless you enjoy the company of ultra religious fanatic bigots.....
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Old 07-26-2009, 05:11 PM   #29
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...there are times ...
I thought it's ...


ALL THE TIME.
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:09 PM   #30
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I like weird...it keeps me on my toes. If we were all the same.... for me, life would be boring.
My family is all the same....we're boring. I like it that way too. Actually, I don't have much family left, except for my daughter and my late husband's family. The older we get, the smaller the family gets.
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:24 PM   #31
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The family into which I was born is a little dysfunctional and I can sympathize.

The thing is, there are strong (albeit ambivalent) feelings for family members that run really deep within a person even if you don't communicate with them. So in my opinion it is probably best to stay civil, keep at least 1,000 miles between you and them, and at least call on Christmas. Anything more will drive you batty. Anything less, and you may feel a void in your life.
I've not felt the 'void', only the lack of the migraines that resulted from family contact.

Without going into a lot of detail: the only family I was close to was Mother, and no one bothered to tell me when she died.
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:36 PM   #32
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I've not felt the 'void', only the lack of the migraines that resulted from family contact.
And yet you re-established contact with your sister in May, 2009. Maybe you wondered if you were missing something? But from your posts, you found the answer and it was "no".

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Without going into a lot of detail: the only family I was close to was Mother, and no one bothered to tell me when she died.
I am so sorry. That sounds pretty nasty.
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:44 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by vicente solano View Post
I donīt think you would find my SIL very funny. Unless you enjoy the company of ultra religious fanatic bigots.....
Weird to me is not necessarily funny, but yeah...I imagine I could handle a rant or two....

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I thought it's ...

ALL THE TIME.
Oh...I see, I guess bbbamI should change her ways. That's strike 2 against me...one more and I'm out....

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My family is all the same....we're boring. I like it that way too. Actually, I don't have much family left, except for my daughter and my late husband's family. The older we get, the smaller the family gets.
Some of my family is boring, some are drama queens/kings and the rest are just nutz!

Yep, the older we get...the smaller the family gets. Not many babies being born lately....
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:51 PM   #34
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I too had almost always looked forward to family get togethers, only to be disappointed, and remember "Oh, yeah, I forgot about how annoying this can be." It took me perhaps 50 of these until I stopped looking forward to them. I think my siblings still forget the annoyances.

Spending too much time at my sister's when taking care of my mom was too much togetherness, and the final straw.

Now I avoid most contact.
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:02 PM   #35
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I've not felt the 'void', only the lack of the migraines that resulted from family contact.

Without going into a lot of detail: the only family I was close to was Mother, and no one bothered to tell me when she died.
Oh Khan, this is heartbeaking. I can understand why you distance yourself from your family. I'm very close to my Mother and will appreciate her even more after reflecting on your message.
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:08 PM   #36
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Oh...I see, I guess bbbamI should change her ways. That's strike 2 against me...one more and I'm out....
NO! NO!

If she changes, that wouldn't be the bbbamI that we know, would it?

I was just teasin'... I went too far

No, no, don't ever go...
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:35 PM   #37
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The rest of my family might say that I am the weird one. It may be too strong a word, or not the correct one. I am just different, being somber and sad as they say. At least my mother has said so...
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:41 PM   #38
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To quote my former secretary:

"My family puts the FUN in dysFUNctional".

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Old 07-26-2009, 07:48 PM   #39
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Anyone else not communicated with family for several years, then done so and remembered why not?
Yes, my sister. When she needs help, she expect you to drop everything to be there to help her whether in the form of hours-long phone calls or physically being there to help move stuff or whatever. When she's done with your help, you won't hear squat from her for weeks, months, sometime years in a row. She borrowed money from my grandma to buy her first house, and when she had a major fight with her live in boyfriend, she invited the same grandma to stay with her, but as soon as she patched things up with her boyfriend, she ushered grandma out the door. Then it's again months or years without a call or visit.

She asked me to move back East because "family should stick together." I had a nice life back in Colorado doing the outdoorsy activities that I enjoy. Fine, after I was back for 2 years, she picked up and moved to Florida. Funny thing is, she couldn't find a job in Florida, so finally she went back to work in NYC. During the 3 years in NYC, she refused to call or visit grandma who lives 10 miles away.

My take is that she takes after my father who operates the same way. They are both completely self absorbed and self centered people.
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:58 PM   #40
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Sometime they make me want to scream but I know they are there for me.
And I guess this goes to the heart of it for me....my siblings have not been there for me in the past & there's no reason to believe they would do any differently in the future. I have given as much as most - and more than some - but finally realized I was wasting my time trying to create relationships that would never materialize. I've analyzed it from one side to another - perhaps it's the result of being an intelligent female growing up in Appalachia who chose to leave the small town (my siblings and extended family live on a hill within a mile of each other) or maybe as others have said my parents took the wrong baby home from the hospital. I've been told that I have too many degrees & my spouse uses big words. At this point it really doesn't matter. I've apologized for every real, perceived and imaginary insult. I refuse to apologize for being me.

In the end I decided to follow the advice of Rhett Butler, "The world is full of many things and many people. And I shan't be lonely" I have a life full of people who enjoy my company, share my laughter and provide support when needed. My friends are the ones who show up when there are sorrows to bear or success to celebrate. I have a very full life - it just doesn't include many family members.

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